3 Count: Refin’s Tune-a

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1: Redfin Defeats Copyright Claims Due to MLS License Agreement

First off today, Eric Goldman at Technology & Marketing Law Blog reports that Redfin, a real estate search company, has emerged victorious in its lawsuit against a photographer that claimed the company had infringed his photos of houses by using them in their app and website.

The lawsuit was filed by photographer Alexander Stross, who claimed that Redfin made illegal use of his images by both using them as part of their estimate of value and by “recommercializing” them by encouraging users to share them online. However, Redfin hit back claiming that, when Stross put his photographs into the various real estate databases, he signed an agreements that Redfin claimed gave it the rights to use the images.

The court agreed and found that Stross lacked standing to file the lawsuit and tossed it on summary judgment. However, the case may sill be appealed to the Fifth Circuit.

2: ‘No Artistic Merit’: Expert Witness Ends Belarus Photographer’s Copyright Battle

Next up today, Amos Chapple at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports that, in Belarus, a photographer has lost his battle with the state-run television network Belteleradiocompany after an expert witness ruled that the photograph he was suing over had no artistic merit.

In March 2015 photographer Anton Motolko photographed the Northern Lights, which rarely appear in the country, and published the images on his social media. However, the next night Belteleradiocompany featured his work without giving him payment, attribution or permission.

Motolko sued but an expert witnessed determined that the photos were just a record of a “social event” and did not qualify for copyright protection. The case cost Motolk around $300, $40 of which has to pay for the expert witness that declared his work unoriginal.

3: Google Delisted 1.75 Billion Websites Because of Copyright Takedown Requests

Finally today, Justin Pot at The Next Web reports that Google has updated its copyright transparency reports and now prominently lists how many URLs it has removed and how many websites were affected by such removals.

To date, Google says it has removed some 1.75 billion URLs from its index from some 888,000 websites. The report also showcases how few cases were rejected, namely 2.1 percent of the total. Some 16 million requests were duplicates. The new tool also provides easier breakdown of who is sending the requests and which sites have received the most.

The report also highlights the process that removals go through including the filing of the notice, the review, contacting the site owner and the possibility of counter-notification.


That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.

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